In a significant development, China has reported zero new deaths from COVID-19 for the first time since January. The National Health Commission announced 32 new cases across the country, all of which were individuals arriving from other countries, along with 30 new asymptomatic cases. This marks a milestone in China, battling against the virus, as it’s the first day without new deaths reported since the outbreak began in January.
The city of Wuhan, where the outbreak originated, is now considered “epidemic-free,” allowing residents to leave their homes for two hours at a time.
Travel restrictions have been eased for people with green health codes, enabling them to leave the city.
Chinese authorities have shifted their focus to asymptomatic cases, which were not included in the tally of confirmed infections until recently. It is estimated that asymptomatic cases represent a significant portion, ranging from 18% to 31% of all cases, according to infectious disease doctor Zhang Wenhong.
The criteria for declaring a residence “epidemic-free” have included asymptomatic cases since April 4.
Hong Kong, which initially had success in preventing the epidemic, has witnessed a surge in cases, particularly among residents returning from abroad.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam of Hong Kong has imposed stricter measures to combat the increase in cases, emphasizing the importance of self-discipline among the public. The government also plans to enhance measures at land borders and extend the ban on foreigners entering or transiting through Hong Kong.
Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected over 1.3 million people, resulting in more than 74,744 deaths, according to data from John Hopkins University. As the situation evolves, countries continue to adapt their strategies to combat the virus effectively.